Intertanko urges for global safety code

Jan 29, 1997 01:00 AM

The head of a tanker owners' association urged that a global safety code which would make ship owners and managers more accountable for accidents be implemented on schedule. Richard du Moulin, chairman of the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (Intertanko), said the International Safety Management (ISM) code would be an effective safety measure. The code, to become mandatory for tankers and passenger ships from mid-1998 and for dry cargo ships from mid-2002, defines the responsibilities of ship owners and managers in terms of ship safety. This effectively makes them more accountable in the event of an accident. "ISM covers, we think, the entire safety picture," said du Moulin. "So what is most important is to make sure ISM happens on time and that ISM is strict," he told. Dagfinn Lunde, Intertanko's managing director, said Intertanko executives and those they had met in Tokyo recently had had little fresh discussion on safety measures. He said it was important that safety regulations and conventions that had already been drafted be implemented. "We (Intertanko) think that they are appropriate safety measures," Lunde said. The Russian tanker was not a member of Oslo-based Intertanko, association executives said. Some Japanese news reports have speculated on the possibility that the age of the Nakhodka, which they said was built 26 years ago, may have some bearing on the accident. Du Moulin said a ship's age alone should not be a criteria for judging whether it was safe or not. He said the important issue to look at was how well the ship had been maintained.

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